Mossad training hit-squads in Iran to kill nuclear scientists: Report

Published: February 10, 2012

Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan a chemistry expert and a director of the Natanz uranium enrichment plant in central Iran, was killed in 2012. PHOTO: AFP

US officials acknowledged that attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists in Iran are being carried out by an Iranian dissident group financed, trained and armed by Israel’s intelligence agency, Mossad, NBC news reported on Thursday.

The report confirmed Iran’s suspicions about the Mossad aiding the group, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, which the US has long declared as a terrorist organisation. The group, also known as MEK, MKO and PMI, has been accused of killing American servicemen and contractors in the 1970s and supporting the takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran before distancing themselves from the Iranian ‘mullahs’ in 1980.

The US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Obama administration is aware of the assassination campaign but has no direct involvement.

Two senior officials said, “All your inclinations are correct,” while a third official would not confirm or deny the relationship, saying only, “It hasn’t been clearly confirmed yet.” All the officials denied any US involvement in the assassinations.

Five Iranian scientists have been killed since the target killings first began in 2007, coinciding to when the US-Iran rift inflamed over the latter’s nuclear program and the Western superpower’s apprehensions against it. The US continues to impose sanctions on Iran, restricting its trading and commercial activities with other countries, including the Iran-Pakistan pipeline project.

The killed scientists include Particle physicist Masoud Alimohammadi (2010), Majid Shahriari, nuclear scientist (2010), Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani (2010), Darioush Rezaeinejad (2011) and Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan (2012).

The modus operandi of the attacks was usually very dramatic, with motorcycle-borne assailants often attaching small magnetic bombs to the exterior of the victims’ cars. The group has also attacked missile research and development sites.

Mohammad Javad Larijani, a senior aide to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, describes the  relationship between the Mossad, and MEK as very close.

“The relation is very intricate and close,” said Mohammad Javad Larijani, a senior aide to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, speaking of the MEK and Israel.  “They (Israelis) are paying … the Mujahedin. Some of their (MEK) agents … (are) providing Israel with information.  And they recruit and also manage logistical support.”

Larijani added that the Mossad was providing training to MEK in Israel, also revealing that Iran had learnt about the alleged links from an interrogation of an assassin who failed to carry out an attack in late 2010 and the materials found on him.

“Israel does not have direct access to our society. Mujahedin, being Iranian and being part of Iranian society, they have … a good number of … places to get into the touch with people. So I think they are working hand-to-hand very close.  And we do have very concrete documents.”

“This is an Israeli plot.  A dirty plot,” Larijani added angrily. He also claimed the assassinations are not having an effect on the program and have only made scientists more resolute in carrying out their mission.

Ronen Bergman, an Israeli commentator and author of Israel’s Secret War with Iran, thought otherwise, saying that, “Scientists leaving the project, afraid that they are going to be next on the assassination list, and say, ‘We don’t want this.  Indeed, we get good money, we are promoted, we are honored by everybody, but we might get killed.  It isn’t worth it.  Maybe we should go back to teach … in a university.”

Iranian officials initially have also added the CIA to the list, after the January 11, 2012, bombing in Tehran that killed Roshan. The state news agency IRNA reported that Iran’s Foreign Ministry had sent a diplomatic letter to the US claiming to have “evidence and reliable information” that the CIA provided “guidance, support and planning” to assassins directly involved in the attack.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton  immediately denied any connection to the killings. “I want to categorically deny any United States involvement in any kind of act of violence inside Iran,” Clinton told reporters on the day of the attack.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry declined to comment, “As long as we can’t see all the evidence being claimed by NBC, the Foreign Ministry won’t react to every gossip and report being published worldwide.”

While the MEK pointed to a statement calling the allegations “absolutely false.”

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Reader Comments (21)

  • Roflcopter
    Feb 10, 2012 - 12:25AM

    So Israel is supporting people declared as terrorists by US….yet US won’t say a word to Israel.

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  • Feb 10, 2012 - 12:32AM

    AMERICA-ISRAEL EXPOSED

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  • Feb 10, 2012 - 12:55AM

    Truth is the friend of freedom. Journalism is the servant of truth. If Israel, or anybody else, does not want bad things to be reported about them, they should simply stop doing bad things. The evil here is on the part of Israel, not those who report the truth. ISRAEL and USA stop terrorizing and disturbing the peace of world

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  • James
    Feb 10, 2012 - 12:56AM

    In my opinion any suspect in involved must be killed to crush anti national sentiments.

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  • harish
    Feb 10, 2012 - 1:15AM

    good. If iran gets nukes then there will be a major shia-sunni conflict and total instability, so iran should be prevented from attaining a nuclear bomb capability.

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  • Falcon
    Feb 10, 2012 - 1:43AM

    Well what’s interesting about it that somehow US is choosing to divulge the details…even though they make it seem like a ‘leakage’…which essentially means that after Arab Spring, US strategy in the Middle East is changing. Hopefully, Obama won’t have to pay a big price for it.

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  • Pan Mat
    Feb 10, 2012 - 1:43AM

    @Roflcopter:

    So you are taking US official words for gospel when it points to Israel but discredit the same source when it is pointed at Pakistan. Any reason or rational for selectively believing statements from US officials?

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  • WickedVic
    Feb 10, 2012 - 1:46AM

    Someone is desperately trying to provoke Iranians to respond violently. I suspect Ayatollas will lash out at Israeli or US target, giving therefore a pretext for US and Israel to attack in self-defence. Priceless.

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  • Cautious
    Feb 10, 2012 - 1:46AM

    @Roflcopter

    So Israel is supporting people
    declared as terrorists by US….yet US
    won’t say a word to Israel.

    In fact the USA has made a number of public statement condemning the assassinations – and while facts may interfere with your bias it’s an easy Google.

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  • narayana murthy
    Feb 10, 2012 - 3:08AM

    But Pakistanis!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Do not believe USA! USA is the same country that lied about the existence of nukes in Iraq, right?!! It is the same country which lied about existence of Osama Bin Laden in pakistan and then carried out a fake raid!!!! USA is the same country which accused Pakistani establishment of fomenting terrorism in Afghanistan!!!

    Or you choose to believe what is convenient for you? Like true bigoted Pakistanis?!!!

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  • Indian
    Feb 10, 2012 - 8:31AM

    Somebody please add RAW and CIA and a grand conspiracy to defame Islam and Pakistan in this!!!!! Please….. Please……

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  • antanu g
    Feb 10, 2012 - 8:32AM

    again….where are people who ridicule CONSPIRACY THEORIES….? They should come out of their intellectual Extromism and accept the ground realities.

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  • antanu g
    Feb 10, 2012 - 8:35AM

    @Cautious:
    yes….ONLY statements when it comes to israel but actions ( bombings ) when it comes to afgahanistan…iraq…libya and even pakistan

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  • Baqar
    Feb 10, 2012 - 8:46AM

    @narayana murthy
    this article was about Iran…but wat can i say…. your obsession with Pakistan makes you say that an orange is an apple….let me tell you one thing mr/miss/mrs murthy wat india is experiencing today (being america’s darling) we have tasted it in the 60s so no big deal. take care of 500 million poor of your country

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  • narayana murthy
    Feb 10, 2012 - 10:48AM

    @Baqar who writes “this article was about Iran…but wat can i say…. your obsession with Pakistan makes you say that an orange is an apple”

    Not really. It was a plain and simple question if you can believe USA given that u don’t trust it when it comes to a lot of things including OBL raid!!!

    “….let me tell you one thing mr/miss/mrs murthy wat india is experiencing today (being america’s darling) we have tasted it in the 60s so no big deal. take care of 500 million poor of your country”"

    Never. You never experienced what we are experiencing with USA. U know why? U were USA’s darling!!! Absolutely right. We are not. We are USA’s business partner. We export and import and don’t ask for alms for fighting their war.

    I think by raising this point and also abt 500 million poor of India, YOU are the one who is comparing an apple to an orange!!!

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  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Feb 10, 2012 - 10:56AM

    Mossad being smart, efficient and strong-willed as always.
    Got to admire these guys. No matter what they do, they make sure that it always is to the benefit of their motherland. Much unlike a few other machos who always put their egos and interests ahead of everything.

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  • shazada zahid mahmoud loan
    Feb 10, 2012 - 11:21AM

    It will be very soon when the Iranians through their proxy will start killing American and Israeli scinetist and merchants of death. The Iranians are ancient race of very intelligent and artistic race that will find a solution to the Zionist ruled America and its Crusader state in occupied Palestine – that is the fundamental reason why the Zionist entity needs to be dismatled. It is going to lead the world into untold misery and finally catastrophy. The so called United Nations where are you?

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  • JS
    Feb 10, 2012 - 11:25AM

    @narayana muthy
    Are you retarded or living in a cave or something?? there were no nukes in iraq..secondly US accuses us of fomenting terrorism but they forget to mention how they themselves trained, armed, financed, and encouraged them for a decade…haqqanis even gone to the white house and met reagan!!! we are a stupid illiterate country yes…but until you solve your own kashmir problem, medieval caste system, communist rebellion, and this very peculiar indian problem http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6161691.stm i suggest you stop being holier than thou….

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  • Anon
    Feb 10, 2012 - 12:09PM

    @narayana murthy
    Your tired rants are now starting to become routine and predictable. You’re a bigger country economically, geographically and millitarily, but you are still obsessed with us which shows your metality. You have bigger problems to deal with stop advising us because you and your country is guilty of the very things you accuse us of. It looks pretty lame that you come all the way to tribune and make the effort to come up with usual hyperbolic obsessed rants. DO yourself a favour if you want to show bravado go to the Chinese newspaper websites and have a go at them but I guess you’ll be too intimidated to that and dont have much to say about China in any case.
    Your rants dont help if anything you confirm all the stereotypes people have about Indians. It’s self-defeating exercise, continue it to your own detriment.

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  • Noise
    Feb 11, 2012 - 2:18AM

    I dont think Israel ever has thoughts which America hasn’t had first. Israel and their Mossad gives America deniability

    Its the old ‘good cop-bad cop’ routine

    Mossad allows the American agenda of damaging Iran to continue while they can constantly claim innocence and moral superiority and keep acting like the good cop.

    The Americans think they’re smart and believe people cant see thorough their little games. Israel and America are practically one and the same.

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  • j. von hettlingen
    Feb 12, 2012 - 3:52AM

    The NBC report confirmed Iran’s suspicions about Mossad aiding the People’s Mujahedin of Iran to carry out targeted killings of nuclear scientists. The Israeli Mossad and the Iranian Mujahedin. What an unholy alliance!

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